Last update: 07-Dec-2013 3:12 am
Saturday, December 07, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Body of slain Trini scholar arrives home
As the body of slain scholar Ravindra Ramrattan arrived at the Piarco International airport yesterday, his distraught family consoled themselves with Hindu songs at their Cunupia, home, as they prepared for his funeral. The body arrived at the services department of the old airport terminal around 3.15 pm and was quickly taken away to Dass Funeral home.
At the family’s residence at Munroe Road, a table adorned with dozens of Ramrattan’s medals, trophies, prizes and certificates brought solace to the grieving family. Neighbours, friends and well-wishers poured through the open front gates and signed the family’s condolence book. Ramrattan’s sister Rishma said they were grateful for the support they received. She said President Anthony Carmona visited them on Friday and offered assistance.
“The President was genuine and empathetic. He mentioned that he was a UN prosecutor and that he prosecuted many terrorists. This brought us solace. The President told us terrorism is something that he feels very passionate about,” Rishma said. With eyes downcast, she said her brother’s death appeared surreal. “I feel as if this hasn’t happened. We are still very much depressed by this,” Rishma said. She also said that officials of Kenya wanted to set up a memento in honour of her brother.
“I never knew he was involved in so many humanitarian initiatives. He was never one to boast or talk about his accomplishments. He was very humble about it. Since he won the President’s medal in 2002, never once did he ever mention it to anyone again” Rishma said. She added that Ramrattan taught her the importance of determination and willpower.
“He wanted an end to poverty, and everywhere he went he reached out to people. We only knew this after he died. People from Kenya and all over the world called us to say how he touched their lives,” Rishma added. She explained that a few months ago, as a congratulatory present for completing her law studies, Ramrattan took her to Barbados on a vacation.
“I last spoke to him a few weeks ago and he was guiding me on my career path," Rishma added. She said his death was a loss not just in T&T but also in Kenya.
Ramrattan’s funeral will take place at 10 am on Tuesday. Pundit Amar Seepersad will officiate before the body is cremated at the Waterloo Cremation site. Ramrattan was killed in a terrorist attack two Sunday’s ago at the Westgate shopping complex in the capital city Nairobi during a two-day siege. He worked as a research economist and was head of the centre for Branchless Banking at the Financial Sector Deepening in Kenya (FSDK).
Previously he worked as a consultant at the World Bank.
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